Reasons to Succeed

Yesterday I almost didn’t get my 30 min walk in. The day got away from me so that the earliest I could get to it was 10 pm. It was rainy and icky out. I was really tired. But it’s only 30 min and I already brought my sneakers, I told myself.

Then I realized I had forgotten to pack up the most important thing: I carry a water bottle to the gym that has my Garmin watch, Bluetooth headphones, a sweat towel, and a scruncii to hold my glasses on. Could I really walk without these?

Yes, I thought:

  • Listen to the rhythm of your breathing
  • Enjoy the seat as proof of your effort
  • Repurpose your empty coffee thermos from this morning as a water bottle
  • Rely on the treadmill to record your efforts
  • Hold your head high so your glasses don’t fall off

It was a great moment in positive self talk. I found reasons to succeed instead of reasons to fail. I kept thinking if you let these little things defeat you now, how will you survive the big things?

On my way to the gym, with less than an hour before closing, my glasses broke. One of the temples (arms) fell off and into the abyss of my dark car. To keep driving (I am completely blind without my glasses) I had to hold them with one hand and drive with the other. I had no time to go home for a spare pair and still get my walk in.

Well, that’s it, I thought. I can’t see so I can’t walk. Just give up. This is a legit reason. More legit than no headphones and no water bottle.

But then I thought, Fuck It.

I want to get my walk in. Let’s see (hehe get it) what happens.

So I went to the gym and held my glasses with one hand to find the changing room and then dressed blind. Then I held my glasses to find the treadmill and to see which buttons to press. Once I got a good rhythm going I put the glasses into the empty cup holder (yeah, I left the coffee cup in the car after all that) and walked blind. I didn’t fall. I didn’t fail. I didn’t give up.

All in all it was a pretty great day.

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A Year Will Pass Anyway

There is a game I play on my phone called Flow Free. It isn’t very complicated, and I find it somewhat meditative. There is a daily challenge which is sometimes easy and sometimes more challenging. Sometimes the daily challenge is three puzzles and sometimes it is 10 or more.

Why do I bring this up you ask? Because I play this game every day, regardless of the challenge. And today I hit 365 days in a row of being successful. It doesn’t take a lot of time out of my day. Usually I do it when I first wake up to shake the sleep out of my brain, but if I’m rushing I do it later when I have time. Occasionally I do it right before bed as a last thought. But I don’t miss, or at least I haven’t for the last 365 days. So if I can do that for game, that doesn’t win me any awards or reap me any benefits, then I can certainly do it for something I think has tangible value.

This post marks five consecutive days that I have posted something positive, affirming, hopeful about myself. I challenge myself to do this for the next 360 consecutive days. The year will pass regardless, The only question is where will I be? Hopefully, some place better than I am now. If nothing else, I will have achieved the accomplishment of posting 365 consecutive days. With no award or benefit, I suspect it will still be worth it.

Fat Nomad

Steffanie Cameron’s article I’m A Fat Nomad And The World Is Mine just popped up in my Facebook feed. 99 times out of a hundred the random articles fb thinks I will love are terrible, inappropriate, or click-bait (or all of the above) but this one was worth clicking and reading. (It is from Ravishly, so there’s that).

This article was a perfect read, about a woman who knew what she wanted to do, was afraid, and did it anyway. She didn’t let her body, her nay-sayers, or her inner voice hold her back.

I used to be like that, but not lately.

Can I forgive myself?

strength

The weather is crazy. We have a few days of freezing ice and snow and then temperatures in the high sixties. Really? My poor wisteria thinks spring is here. I’m sorry, dear plant, it is only February and we most likely have a few bad storms and cold weather to get through. Be patient. You will get through this winter and bloom again.

I am much like my wisteria. Impatient for the bleak times to end. Sure that if I will it enough I can bloom. Filled with unrealistic expectations and then angry and disappointed when I fail. Not disappointed– despondent. I’m mad at myself for failing and fall into a routine of negative self-talk. Then I’m furious that I am so negative on myself. It is a vicious cycle. The more I berate myself, the more I hate myself for the negativity.

So I’m not going to do that this time. I’m going to forgive myself for being bad-tempered. And forgive myself for being negative. And forgive myself for giving up again, and again, and again. I’ve been watching “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix and by season 2 I’m pretty much fed up with how many time Snow White can forgive Regina (Evil Queen). Every time she has the chance to stop her she gives her another chance. Don’t I deserve at least that many chances? So I’m not saying this is my last do-over. It will be one more in a long line of do-overs. And if I have to forgive myself again, I will.

What’s different this time around

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results, then I must be insane. I have tried it 1,000 times. I’ve even partially succeeded a handful of those times. But only partially.

Because regardless of how I work on my inside, I always need to check my results on the outside. Via scale, tape measure, or dress size. I can say I accept myself, but ultimately if I’m looking for external validation then I’m not really accepting myself at all.

I also have a habit of comparing myself to myself. I never win that comparison. If I walk a mile, I remember I time I walked a mile faster. If I run a mile, I remember a time I ran two. My current self can never compete with my younger, healthier, un-injured self.

I felt it today when I walked. He urge to step up the pace. To what end? To have 1.7 miles instead of 1.6? How does that help me? Really?

What’s different this time is that I’m going to focus on my internal gauges. I’m going to ficus I’m breathing better. To not getting winded. To make sure I stretch properly. That I follow through. That I remind myself every day that this isn’t about fixing me (I’m not broken) but about believing in me again.

I’m just going to keep saying it until I believe it.

Why it matters

I always come back to the same thing. I’m too busy. There’s too much work. My family needs me too much.

But it’s a vicious cycle that leads me feeling older than my years. I feel beaten down by life. I’m tired all the time. My joints ache. I don’t enjoy my life.

I need to feel empowered. I want to feel excited. I know that when I only focus on work, on school, on family, on obligations it drains me. I’m like a car with no gas in the tank.

So I need to insist on time for me. And I am busier than ever with school and work and all. But that is why it matters even more. Because I could get lost in this life with nothing left of me if I’m not careful.

Something scratching at my brain

There have been a lot of false starts; trying to get back to my body-positivity. It was a lot easier to accept my fat body when I could run 18 miles. Or even 3 miles.

I want to learn to accept the body I have, not the one I had or the one I wish I had. I have some work to do. A lot of work.

I started with #30m30d (30 min of any exercise a day for 30 Days) but it occurs to me on day 5 that my goal can’t be just what I do. Real change starts in my brain.

So my goal is still #30m30d but instead, I’m going to look at 30 min of self-care, self-reflection every day for 30 days. Here are some questions I will try to answer this week:

  • Why it matters?
  • What are my limiting beliefs
  • What’s different this time around?
  • Is there anything I need to forgive myself for?
  • What is my desired result?
  • Where do I go from here?

Happy Blogiversary To Me

So I’ve been blogging for 11 years!! (Off and on) I’ve grown and changed so much. My first blog started as a weight loss blog before I ever heard of HAES or fat activism. 

11 years ago I was desperately unhappy and thought how I looked and my size were a measure of my value as a person. I thought running was something you did if a bear was chasing you. I thought Forty was really old. 

An awful lot has changed in the last decade plus one. I have changed careers, homes, and significant others. I have changed the name of my blog. I have lost and gained the same hundred pounds over and over. I have run thousands of miles for fun. I have learned a lot and also refused to learn some things I should have. I am happier and healthier at fifty than I was at 40. I’m curious to see where I will be in another 11 years. 

11th Anniversary is “steel” which works for me; I’m made of steel!

Steps vs walking

Literally the high point of my week.

Wednesday  was a rough day. I could have ended up with fewer than 1,000 steps. But I didn’t. I pushed myself to walk before bed. It was a hard decision. Between work and family I didn’t have 5 min to myself until about 9 pm. 

I could have justified going to bed. It was late. It was dark. It was freaking cold out. I was tired. But I went out anyway and walked until I hit 8,000 steps.  

If  I had skipped the walk that night, I’m not sure I would have gotten up early yesterday morning to do my 20 min workout (more about that later). I thought about what had motivated me in the past and one thing that worked was to get 8,000 steps no matter what. I know most people have a 10,000 step goal but I think if I had to try for 10,000 when I’m at 800. For me an 8,000 step goal is so much more attainable. 

So I did it and even though it was cold and I’m glad I did it. Every positive choice leads to another positive choice. Each negative choice gives permission for other. Festive choices. 

Having said this, getting in my steps is a stop-gap at best. It isn’t fun and if I do that every day this whole thing will unravel again. It will become a chore. 

So yesterday I made a choice to take a walk.  Unlike getting steps, taking a walk is about taking time for me. It is enjoyable. It builds me up. I chose the middle of the day, in sunshine, and at the beach. There is nothing that I enjoy more. Because of work my time was limited, but I left feeling ebullient. 

Today I tried to get my walk in, but the whole day was a disaster from beginning to end. At 6:30 pm, with a mountain of work still to wade through, I decided to walk. I have to go back to the emails and spreadsheets before bed, but squeezing in a walk while there was a smidgen of daylight seemed better then squeezing it in as midnight approaches. 

And I’m really sure that if I had skip today, I would have been undone again. 

Goal 1: Accountability. 

Pursuant my previous post,  I can’t tackle everything at once or I risk yet another failures. So I’ve decided to pick one goal each week.  

I’m starting this week with accountability because it feels like everything stems from that. For me this means tracking: exercise, steps, food, caffeine, and sleep. I can’t see improvement if I don’t keep track. Notice I didn’t say weight, inches, or clothing size. If my goal is increased energy, those factors aren’t the right measures. 

I have a Fitbit to track steps and feel fairly comfortable using the Fitbit app to track food and exercise. (Steps and exercise are not the same IMHO). But I think I can’t ignore those other measures, so this week my goal is to figure out the best way to track. 

I’m also going to commit to weekly (or more) blog posts.  I find blogging the best way for me to (a) work out my thoughts, (b) stay accountable and, (c) boost my mood.